Saturday, April 24, 2010

T-1 day

The day before the marathon started in my favorite way, and something that rarely ever happens anymore:  I slept in until I woke alarm clock, no meowing kitty wanting her breakfast, no early morning conference call, no Saturday mornings errands.  So, the day officially kicked off at 9:13 am.

After a couple of meals and lots of water, I received SOME wonderful news!  One of my contributors has graciously agreed to match all funds raised on Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25 at 12 am midnight on the 25th up to my £5000 goal! While I have had WONDERFUL support from friends and co-workers, I do have the opportunity to surge a bit further in the fundraising. 

If you are still  interested in donating, I would love your support. PLEASE help me in my final push for fundraising by contributing to my charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind:

The website will take donations up to, during, and after the marathon finishes, so no worries there.  So, besides the the runner (me) feeling the pain tomorrow, let's make this anonymous contributor's wallet hurt as well.

Finally, for those wanting to follow me along the course tomorrow, I will be running under bib # 39754. See you at the finish line!

Marathon quote of the day:
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
- Confucius

Friday, April 23, 2010

T-2 days

Weather forecast for Sunday's marathon is sunny with scattered showers, low of 49 F and high of 67 F.  40% chance of precipitation.

Tad bit warm and muggy!  Let's watch this space.

Marathon quote of the day:
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself
- William Faulkner

T-3 days

I am starting to get very excited....much final week activity to coincide with the race day on Sunday.  Colleagues in the HP office have been baking goodies all week for sale to boost that fundraising effort for Guide Dogs for the Blind UK.  Thanks to all for the baking and the eating!

I can't thank all my supporters from literally around the world that have responded to my request for support!  YOU ARE ALL AMAZING.  For those of you who still might be interested  in donating, it is not too late.

So, what is the quote for the day?  here you go....

Human beings are made up of flesh and blood, and a miracle fibre called courage.
- George Patton

Thursday, April 22, 2010

T-4 days

Today's marathon final week prep consisted of picking up the marathon runner's packet and bib number.  Officially, I am woo-hoo! 

As part of the ramp up for Sunday, I also took in the London Marathon expo on Tuesday, bought my token London Marathon souvenir item, and generally smoozed with my fellow runners.  Even stopped by the booth of the charity I am running for, Guide Dogs UK, and loved on the necks of a few guide dogs.

Continuing that mental prep, today's my London Marathon inpirational quote of the day:
Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.   - Lou Holtz

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

T-5 days

Final week of marathon prep is so NOT about the running but rather about everything else.

Besides the 3-4 small runs this week, it is really about nurtition and hydration (drinking LOTS of water), plenty of rest including staying off those legs as much as possible, and getting into the mental zone.  I am happy to report that the nutrition and hydration goals have been met today, and nothing is on my agenda tonight that cannot be accomplished from the sofa in my living room.

Now, back to that mental thing....I personally take alot of inspiration from today's London Marathon quote of the day:

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
 -  Booker T. Washington

Morale of the story:  training and competing is success enough!  Although I hope for a personal best in Marathon #13, just finishing and raising money for a great cause is reason enough to celebrate.  Everyone is a winner regardless of my finish time on Sunday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I forgot about Toto

One update to the Over the Rainbow rehash....apparently, ~the Lord" (a.k.a. Andrew Lloyd Webber) will also be trying to find that perfect "unknown" to also star in the title role of Toto in the upcoming West End production of The Wizard of Oz.  So, all canine Toto wanna-bes "have been auditioning  for a potentional spot in the final 10 Totoa for next week's show.  Barking, jumping, and generally charming their way to celebrity status.

One major flaw that I can see:  apparently, Toto no longer has to confirm to breed, size, color, etc. qualifications or to any preconceived notions of what Toto must look like.  This is supported by the fact that one of the Toto finalists is a Great Dane!!!!  Merciful heavens - how will that dog ever fit into Dorothy's bicycle basket???

On the flip side, it is good to see that we now live in a canine color-blind world where all dogs, regardless of size, age, or color have the unalienable right of being Toto. Wink-wink! 

Does the same concept hold true to Dorothy??????  You check out the finalists and then let me know what you think.

T-6 days is finally London Marathon week.  Come on, come on!

As the day approaches, the race commences, and in honor of that, this week....a few of my favorite quotes to get me into that mental zone.

Monday's London Marathon Quote of the Day:

Tough times don't last but tough people do.
- A.C. Green

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Over the Rainbow

Can I say, I have not had this good of a laugh in a long time!  Humor me as I recount last evening's entertainment....

Thanks to Cyn and the Paulster, the Budman and I have adopted the practice of applying for free tickets to TV shows filmed in and around know, "come and be a part of the studio audience but be sure to wear your TV studio glamour - LOL!".  We've been fortunate to catch a few shows and have taken in tapings of Deal or No Deal, Dancing on Ice, Dancing for Sports Relief, and last night, Over the Rainbow.

Granted, it was a cheesy reality show where the premise of the show is to find a "no-name" young talent to star in the upcoming West End production of The Wizard of Oz.  The West End impressario himself, Andrew Lloyd Webber, is staging the production, and is also lending his participation to the reality contest each week.  The show's premise seeks to eliminate one potential contestant each week for the coveted role of Dorothy.  My main reason for wanting to attend was that the show's emcee is Graham Norton, that wacky and highly entertaining UK talk show host.  I start giggling just watching him. 

Here's the format:  12 girls vie for the Dorothy role, singing and dancing their little hearts out each week.  Three judges (Charlotte Church, John Partridge - west end singing star, soap actor, and general know-it-all - never heard of him, and Sheila Hancock, British theatre icon) provide their feedback on each Dorothy's performance and at the end of the show, viewers call in to vote for their favorite.  The bottom two contestants then participate in a sing-off and then "the Lord" as he is called on the show, Andrew Lloyd Webber, picks the girl who continues in the contest (goofy touch...every time the cameras pan to ALW, organ music playing the Phantom of the Opera goes into overdrive). 

Of course, all the performances are peppered with behind the scenes videos of the girls " going through a grueling week", where they are all "learning so much", "feel honored just to be here", "hope they have done enough to make next week's show", "and will be "just gutted if they go home this week".  Yada, yada, yada, we've have heard it all before.  Besides all the single performances, the opening group number allows all the "Dorothys" to "Ease on Down, Ease on Down the Road. 

This week's show was actually filmed on the same night. that is, both the Saturday live performances, and Sunday sing-off show in one go -round, so we were there about 4 hours total in the studio...sounds boring? Think again....First, there were these HUGE red shoes on stage...MY WORD!

Over the Rainbow

Secondly, all the contestants were dressed in gingham dresses in ANY color other than blue, and had silver sparkly shoes on instead of red shoes.  Continuing in the list of funny elements, "the Lord" sits in a BIG gold chair watching over the festivities, with occasional remarks throughout the show before giving his final decision...who "gets voted off the island", or in this case, who gets voted out of Oz.  Nice set design touch is that a crystal ball sits in front of Webber with the ruby slippers inside (remember the film) in addition to a HUGE backdrop of the Emerald City behind the band.

When the Lord selects the girl not continuing in the contest, he asks her to remove her sparkly shoes and hand them into him.  Pretty high drama stuff as by this time, the Dorothy that just got the "heave-ho" is being serenaded to a chorus of the other Dorothys describing how "she sang so sweetly, but the Lord dumped her completely".  Egads!

The piece de resistance is that the rejected Dorothy walks up the staircase, positions herself in a giant crescent moon that will slowly raise her up and across the stage as she got it....Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  In all fairness, the Dorothys all sing pretty well but they are really young...and "gotta lot of livin' to do".

By this time I am crying, not because Dorothy just got the boot, but because I have visions of either a Glee episode or a really bad high school musical.  Either way, a perfect entertaining evening.

Friday, April 16, 2010

two types of combustion

All, I can say is, "it is fun watching from the cheap seats!" If curious, let me explain....

This week, I witnessed two forms of combustion and hot air: 

(1)  The first one (a literal reference) was fueled by the Icelandic volcanoe that has spewed hot ash across the UK and continental Europe, essentially closing airports all across western Europe.  As I write, Heathrow, Gatwick, London City (UK et al) have been closed for two days solid with no real confirmation as to when the air space over the UK will re-open.  At the earliest, it will be 1 AM Saturday morning but I am certain that will be pushed back again....I thank my lucky stars that I am not travelling for business or pleasure.  Whew, timing is everything.

(2)  The second one (a methaporical reference) relates to last night's prime ministerial candidate debate.  I expected the usual sales rhetoric, the pushing of various party platforms, and candidate spiel that was long on aspirational goals but short on specifics.  I mean, after all, I have seen way too many US presidential candidate debates not to expect this.  And I was not dissappointed.  Yea, lots of hot air, finger pointing, and blame game...again, nothing new.

What I was surprised by is that there has never been a televised PM candidate debate in the UK, and not a debate at all in over 50 years.  I can't imagine that british voters would not have demanded such a dialogue...maybe that says something about voter apathy.  Regardless, this morning's TV news programs were all sharing their thoughts on "which candidate/party" had won the debate.  No clear agreement on that, as is often the case.  I did play the bit of the voyeur by watching the debate and making my own assessment, which is a moot point, I realize.  .

The whole election process in the UK is a rather speedy one, comparatively speaking when looking at US presidential eelections.  The entire process will be about 4-5 weeks.

In reality, it is entirely possible that the Icelandic ash will linger longer that the UK election process. Now that is something I can get on board with.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Let the taper begin

Yes, that longest "long run" has been checked off the training schedule. I am happy to report that the physio/rehab on the calf tear appears to be paying dividends, along with the icing, leg elevation, stretching and strengthening exercises.  It is now also officially April so that special day is 24 days away and counting!

So, what is left to do?  Well...continue doing what I am doing...exercise, nutrition, proper hydration as well as continue to see my new best friend, Jimmy the PT, 2-3 times a week.  He is quite optimistic of my marathon completion with limited or no issues with the calf tear. Excellent.

Now, specifically for the Hachie Gal, I need to try NOT to obsess about the injury and my chances of a personal best.  In true Type A form, I am clearly not worrying about the injury anymore nor my chances of completing the London Marathon, but rather have jumped forward way ahead to once again try  for a marathon PB.  Yea, even as I write it, the statement seems a but ludicrous, but a girl has to dream ( and yes, that was not meant to be an April Fool's joke, I am dead serious).

With that said, as I read this morning's Virgin London Marathon newsletter, I spyed a quote that seemed to have been written for me:

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Well said, man!